Chapter 1: Character Info
Not a real chapter but some info on the characters
Characters & Sexualities
Laf: nonbinary and pan
John: gender fluid and gay
Herc: cis male and panromantic ( he is v comfortable w his masculinity and let's Laf experiment with makeup on him)
Alex: trans ftm and bi
James: cis male and pan but is hetero romantic and homosexual
Aaron: cis male and Demi
Theodosia: bigender and bi
Thomas: gender fluid(ofc) and bi
Angelica: cis female and straight
Eliza: cis female and bi
Peggy: nonbinary and aromantic
Cheerleader Thomas friends with Laf
James is a nerd younger step brother of Herc acquaintances with Eliza (table mates in culinary)
Laf is also a cheerleader staying with the Washingtons for an exchange program
Herc is James older brother(from a different mother) and a football player
John is a volleyball player son of homophobic father with 2 younger siblings
Alexander new kid foster child of the Washingtons
Aaron student council president orphan living with distant relative
Theodosia conductor of marching band
Angelica book club president oldest sister to Peggy and Eliza
Peggy president of LGBTQ+ club youngest sister of Angelica and Eliza
Eliza spirit leader adopted middle sister of Peggy and Angelica considers her and James friends
*Everyone has to take at least 2 years of a language even if you already speak it.
3 French 2
3 French 1
0 AP English i
1 World History
4 French 2
4 French 2
2 AP English
3 Student Council
2 Spanish 2
2 Spanish 1
1 Graphic Design
2 Spanish 1
Chapter 2: James: The first day
James Madison wakes up to the sound of his alarm blaring in his ear. He grumbles and slams the off button. Sitting up he scrubs at his face with a hand, while the other one reaches for his black thick framed glasses and his small hearing aid. He slides them into place, and lays back onto the bed groaning, not wanting to leave the cocoon of blankets.
He had just started drifting off again when his door bursts open, slamming against the wall. James jolts, sitting up, heart pounding.
"C'mon man! It's your first day of high school get up!" Hercules easily lifts him off the bed and deposits him onto the floor.
James grumbles, getting to his feet. " 'M up..."
Hercules smiles widely "Alright man, but hurry up or I'm leavin' without you!" He closes the door laughing. James sighed once more, it's not that he didn't love his older brother, but he could be a bit much especially this early in the morning.
He pads over to his dresser, pulling out his outfit for the day, a black pullover and some jeans. He dresses quickly and walks down the hall to the bathroom that he shares with his brother. You can tell whose side is whose James muses as he brushes his teeth. James always has to keep his things in a neat and orderly fashion, whereas Hercules throws things wherever and hopes he can find them again later. He spits and rinses before grabbing his book bag and rushing down stairs.
He sees his mother and brother laughing in the kitchen. He smiles at the fact that even if Hercules isn't hers biologically, she loves him as if he were.
"Morning Mama." James walks into the kitchen.
The woman turns from what she is doing, a smile lighting up her features. "Oh look at my little man growing up! First day of high school already!" She pulls him into a hug and kisses him multiple times on the cheek.
James grumbles, smiling all the while, Hercules laughing at the table.
"Sorry to break this up Ma, but were gonna be late if we don't leave soon." Hercules' voice breaks the two apart.
"Alright." She lets James go, grabbing Hercules and giving him a tight hug and a kiss on the cheek. "Here I know you don't have time for breakfast before you leave, but you can take it with you." She shoves an already made bagel into each of the boys hands.
"Thanks! Love ya Ma! See you later!" Hercules kisses her on the cheek before rushing for the front door and to the car.
James quickly kisses her on the cheek "Bye, love you, see you tonight." He calls over his shoulder, rushing after his brother.
The car ride to school was, as it always is with Hercules, loud and full of singing. James looks over to his brother, who is belting out the lyrics to 'Firework', and laughs quietly to himself.
He's always found it amusing how confident his brother is in his masculinity. Not only is he a pretty big guy, but an all star football player as well. But for some reason that doesn't matter to him, hell Hercules once wore a leather mini skirt because someone said he didn't have the legs for it.
James is pulled out of this thoughts by Hercules' hand on his shoulder. "Hey man you ok? You were spacin' a bit there."
James blinked a few times "Yeah. I was just thinking." He smiles sheepishly.
The concerned look on Hercules' face melts and is replaced by his signature smile. "Alright well we're here! Ya need help gettin' to any of your classes just let me know yeah?"
James opens the car door "I'll be fine Herc, thanks anyway." He closes the door after stepping out and retrieving his schedule from his bag.
"Well what's your first class?"
James reads off the paper "English in room A113 with Mrs. Washington."
"Man! Mrs. Washington was the best, just don't get on her bad side." He laughs as if sharing a joke with himself. He opens his mouth, ready to say more about the woman.
James jumps at the loud noise. "Don't worry man you'll get used to it." He feels Hercules clap his shoulder "We better get going yeah?"
James nods fallowing his brother into the school, silently hoping to stay under the radar of the upperclassmen.
Chapter 3: James: First two classes
As the brothers rushed to their respective classes, Hercules pointed out the different buildings to James.
"That's the A building, then B, the cafeteria, D, G, and H." Hercules uses his finger to point to each building as he says it.
James furrows his brows "The fact that they just skipped some letters is going to annoy me." He mumbles before starting his trek across campus to the A building.
He hears Hercules laugh behind him "Of course it will!"
James barely makes it into his first class on time, breathing heavily. A small, dark, plump woman with her slightly graying hair in a tight high bun, stood at the front of the class smiling.
He rushes to take an empty seat. It seems that all of the seats are taken except for one near the back of the class, right next to a very attractive...person? James didn't like to assume a persons gender, and it would be difficult to do with this one if he did. They have a large Afro, styled to look just messy enough, they also have on blood red lipstick, eyeliner so sharp it could kill a man, and scruff. James sits down, and looks away from his table mate.
"Hey I'm Thomas. You new here? I haven't seen you around before." God they're voice is beautiful. It's rough, as if yelling is all they do, and deep.
"Uh I'm James. I'm a freshman, so I guess?" He fidgets under Thomas' gaze.
Thomas raises a brow and leans their head on their hand, bring up a perfectly manicured, deep purple nail to tap at their chin. "My my a freshman? In a sophomore class?"
James averted his eyes, feeling extremely nervous. 'This isn't how I wanted it to go. Why the fuck would you say you're a freshman!? You could have left it at yeah I'm new and been done!' James' breathing is coming out short and choppy.
Thomas notices and places a hand on the kids shoulder "Hey you alright? Breath man!"
James is snapped from his thoughts by Thomas grabbing his chin and forcing him to look at them. James evened out his breathing. "Sorry.."
Thomas smiles "No worries kid, you just scared me a bit." They laugh. "Since you're new and everything, you got anyone to show you around?"
Yes. "No." Damn it. Thomas' smile lights up even more, as they rest their arm over James' shoulders. "Could I ask a somewhat personal question?" James inquired as he takes in, for the first time, Thomas' outfit. A pair of too tight skinny jeans, heels, and a black tank top with white writing 'Don't Talk To Me'.
Thomas' eyes harden as if knowing this question was coming, but their smile never wavers. "Go ahead Jemmy!"
"What are your pronouns?" James bites his lip and watches Thomas' face, seeing the shock flicker across it, before being replaced by the same blinding smile as before.
"Well Jemmy, I'm going to be honest, I wasn't expecting that question." They laugh "But I'm gender fluid, so he/she/they it doesn't matter much to me. What about you kid?"
James gave a small smile "Oh..um male? I mean he/him!"
"Alright class! If you would all look up here! I am Mrs. Washington." She waits for all of the students to quiet down before she continued. "We are going to start off the class with a project." She shushes the groans of the students. "Now hush! This will be fun! Now look to the person you are sharing your table with."
James looks at Thomas, who still has their arm around his shoulder. Thomas looks right back at him smirking.
"That," James pulled himself away from Thomas' eyes. "will be who you base your project off of. What you will be doing is a type of report on them. You will write it like a newspaper article, about their likes dislikes, their personality, what they do for fun, et cetera." She claps her hands once. "Does anybody have any questions? No? Great! This will be due in three weeks typed and hand delivered to my desk." She looks at the clock "We only have about ten minutes left, so you may visit for the rest of class, maybe get a head start on the project." She laughs and sits down at her desk.
Thomas uses their arm around James' shoulder to turn him towards them. They put their feet in his lap and lean back.
James leans his notebook agains Thomas' legs. "What do you do for fun?" He looks up at Thomas, pushing his glasses up his nose, and placing the pencil point to the paper.
Thomas sighs and rolls their eyes. "Come on Jemmy! We have weeks!"
James chews on his lip "I really think we should get a head start on this.."
"If you're that worried about it how about you come by mine this weekend and we can spend as much time as you want doing the project?" Thomas leans forward a bit, quirking a brow.
Thomas smiles and claps their hands. "Great! Give me your phone." They put their hand out and James complies. Thomas starts tapping away at the phone, they even take a picture of themselves for the contact. They take out their own phone as well, typing away at that. When James gets it back he sees there is a message from 'Tall Dark and Handsome', the only thing in the message was a winking face.
The bell rings, sharp and loud, indicating it's time for the next class. Thomas starts packing up, then stands and stares at James. "What's your next class?"
"Well I stay here for it, it's writing."
Thomas' face falls slightly "Man I wanted to introduce you to some people. Maybe next time then!" They walk to the door, turning before they step out of it, and blows James a kiss.
James blushes, and hides his face in the latest book he's reading, 'The Dead Poets Society' he's read it so many times before but he just loves it so much. He gets to the part where the students are first introduced to Mr. Keating's class, when someone sat beside him.
He turns to see beautiful long curly brown hair cascading down the back of the person, who is bending over their bag to pull out supplies.
"I'm Theodosia, call me Theo, today My pronouns are him/his." Theo states bluntly.
James blinks slowly at his bluntness.
"Hello, I'm James," He smiles "nice to meet you."
Theo nods, looks at the board then bends over his desk and starts writing.
"Alright kids! If you would take a look at the board, this will be your prompt for today. Don't worry too much about how you write it, this is just for me to see each of your writing styles. You may begin."
James adjusts his glasses and reads the board 'He opened the door and what he saw...'
James took a minute to decide where to go with it, before getting lost in the words spilling from his pencil.
Chapter 4: Jaimes: Cullinary
By the end of second period, James had found out two things. 1) Even though Theo doesn't talk much, his writing is beautiful and James can't wait to see more of it. 2) James loved Mrs. Washington. A few minutes before class ended some kid, Charlie? Something Lee? Whoever he was, he'd decided that his bigoted misogynistic opinions had to be heard by all. Mrs. Washington was having none of it, and needless to say, many students are now terrified and in awe of her.
"Bye Mrs. Washington, have a good day!" James smiles and waves.
Mrs. Washington looks up from her desk "Thank you dear have a good day."
James adjusts the strap on his shoulder before walking out the door, immediately running face first into someone's chest.
"I'm so sorry!" James looks up at the person, seeing Thomas' smiling face.
Thomas laughs "Hey kid. Where ya headin now?"
"Culinary, where you....waiting for me?" James bites his lip.
"Hmm yes and no." They smile wider. "My next class is right down the hall A100, but I thought that I would be a wonderful person and wait for my Jemmy."
James blushes "Oh, thanks."
"Mmmmhmm. Now how's about I help you to your next class?" They wrap their arm around his shoulders and starts walking out of the building.
"But you're gonna be late if-" Thomas barked out a laugh, cutting James off.
"Oh Darlin' that's adorable, you care so much about school." Usually James' blood would start to boil if someone had said something like that to him, but somehow he knew they weren't teasing him.
James opened his mouth to say something, when he heard a familiar voice.
"Ay bro!" Hercules called from across the hall, waving like a madman, the person next to him has to duck so as not to be hit by the flailing limbs.
James sighed, slight smile making its way into his face as he waves back.
"Come here I wanna introduce you to someone!"
Thomas looks at James with a confused look. "He's my brother, well technically step brother, but we don't say it.." He trails off, walking over to his brother.
Thomas, to James' disdain, removes their arm from his shoulders before they reach Hercules.
"Hey Herc" James smiles and pushes at his brother when he puts James in a headlock.
"Sup Jay! So this gorgeous person here is Lafayette." Herc, just realizing James had a friend with him, smiles. "And I see you've met Thomas."
"Uh, yeah we have English together." James looks to Lafayette "Hi it's nice to meet you." He smiles and extends a hand.
Lafayette takes his hand and shakes it enthusiastically. "Bonjour James it's very nice to meet mon chers petit frère."
James smiles, already liking them. "I'm sorry I, uh I don't understand French."
Hercules laughs "Don't worry bro neither do I!"
The minute bell rings. "Shit! I'm sorry I've got to go it was nice meeting you Lafayette! Thanks for walking me Thomas!" James rushes to culinary, waving over his shoulder.
He walks into the culinary room, seeing all the students standing at the front of the room. The bell rings.
"Alright students welcome to culinary. I'm Mr. Washington." A tall man, who looks less intimidating then he could have because of the home made 'Grill Master' apron, walks through a door from the back of the classroom. "I have assigned your seats, so when I call your name you may be seated."
Lafayette struts into class late "Je suis désolé im professeur tard. There was a lot of traffic in the halls." They smile wide at Mr. Washington.Mr. Washington sighs, "Alright well, as you may have missed, I'm giving assigned seats." He begins naming off students and pointing towards the two person table they are to be seated at. Lafayette struts up to James, smiling. "Oh I did not know you has this class as well, Jamie. C'est bien!" They hug him tightly, giving a kiss to each cheek.'We've just met and they've given me a nickname?' James thinks, smiling fondly. "Yeah I love to cook, so I figured why not get a grade for it," He shrugs."Elizabeth Schuyler.""It's Eliza, sir." Eliza walked to the desk in the second row."Of course miss Eliza..James Madison."
Lafayette let out a small grunt of displeasure.James looked at Lafayette, mouthing sorry, and walking to the table where Eliza was sitting, placing his bag under it."Hey there, I'm Eliza, it's nice to meet you." She extended her hand. She was beautiful, she had a round face that would look too young on anyone else, but somehow it made her look quite sophisticated.James took her hand smiling, "James. It's nice to meet you too."
"Alright class, now that we're all seated, I have a fun little project. What we will be doing is everyone will pull a pice of paper out of this bowl," he shakes the bowl for emphasis, "and you will attempt to make whatever dish you pick. It doesn't matter if it looks good, what matters is the taste."
Someone in the back spoke, "Will this be a grade?"
Mr. Washington laughed. "No this is not a grade, this is for me to see how you maneuver around a kitchen, it also helps to see each of your cooking styles."
A different student calls. "But if we're making a random dish how will it be our style?"
"No matter what it is you make, if you put your heart and soul into it, there will be a distinction that will tell me whose it is."
James smiles, thinking about what his mother used to say when she was teaching him to cook 'Jay, hon, if you follow the recipe exactly it's not yours, it's more like an outline, but you add to it make it yours.'
"So I will come around with the bowl and everyone will pick one pice of paper. Also, we will not be finishing this today so don't worry about that." The man started going table to table allowing the students to pick a paper.Mr. Washington was standing right in front of him with the bowl, he Ruffles through the papers before picking one out and letting Eliza pick. He looks down and reads the small paper 'Mousse'. James was confused. Was it meant to be this vague?
"What do you have to make?"
James looked at Eliza, whose radiant smile lit up her face. "It just says mousse."
"Huh, mine said bisque." She looks at him with one eyebrow raised.
Mr. Washington, who is now back at the front of the room, cleared his throat. "Some of these dishes are vague, I know, I did this so that I can see how your thought process works. See how your imaginations run. Now class," he claps twice, "get to work."
Chapter 5: Thomas: Herc is a pain
Thomas watched James' back as he ran to class, not noticing Hercules turning towards them.
"Really Thomas my brother? My LITTLE brother?" He had an exasperated look on his face.
"I have no idea what you mean Herc, we were partnered together for an English project."
Hercules narrows his eyes, sighing. "I gotta get to class, but this is not over man we're talkin' about this!" He turns to Lafayette, only to see that they are already halfway to their class. He huffs and sulks into his class.
Thomas laughs and starts towards their own class, having the hallway to themselves. They think about what Herc had said. 'What'd he mean? Does he think I'm trying to get with the kid? Please it's not like I find those glasses cute, or how persistent he is, or how if you look close enough you can see that even if the kid is lean, he has muscle in all the right places, or- fuck. Okay fine he's attractive but that doesn't mean I wanna get with him.'
Thomas finally makes it to his French2 class, five minutes after the bell. It's a good thing their teacher is a complete pushover. Students are out of their seats, listening to music, texting, the teacher sits doing nothing about it.
Thomas sits in their own seat, not liking anyone in this class enough to actually talk to any of them. They feel their phone buzz.
From Wonder Boy: Seriously man my brother
To Wonder Boy: Sorry man I don't know what your talking about
From Wonder Boy: Look man it's not that I dont like u or anything but my brother is 2 pure 4 u
To Wonder Boy: First of all I'm hurt you would say that truly second nothing's happening
From Wonder Boy: It better not b or u have 2 answer 2 me
From Wonder Boy: Fuck teacher saw gtg not dine with this
Thomas sighed, 'even if something was going on I doubt James would even like me. He may be able to tolerate me and my gender changes, but in a relationship?' Thy shook their head to help clear their thoughts.
They took a deep breath and opened a game on their phone, spending the rest of the class period buried in their phone.
Thomas, for the first time in a long time, went straight to their next hour not wanting to deal with Herc in the halls.
They start their treck across campus to the G building for math. He sighs as he walks into Mr. Adams' classroom. No one likes Mr. Adams, he rarely comes to work and when he does he barely teaches.
Thomas sits in the farthest corner of the classroom, which is mostly empty seeing how the minute bell hasn't even rung yet. They hear the thud of a backpack hitting the ground next to them. Turning Thomas sees someone who looks to be too young to even be in high school. They were wearing a grey shirt with a planet on it and the words 'out of this binary', and some tight fitting pants.
Thomas furrowed their brows "What?"
The person, Peggy apparently, rolled their eyes. "My name."
Thomas smiles at their bluntness. "And your pronouns?"
They finally looked at Thomas, a small smile on their face. "They/them. You?"
Thomas laughs. "He/she/they doesn't really matter unless I specify."
The minute bell rang, and the class flooded with students. Mr. Adams introduces himself, that's where Thomas zones out.
A note falls on their desk, they read the neat loopy scrawl 'what the hell is this? How is this an actual teacher?'
Thomas huffs out a laugh and writes back 'I know most kids zone out and figure it out on their own'
Peggy's brows furrow as they write, and hand the note back to Thomas 'this is bullshit.'
Thomas starts scribbling a response, when the bell rings for fourth period.
Chapter 6: James: The brothers talk
James had decided to make an expresso chocolate layered mousse. By the time the bell rang, he'd finished his mixture. So while the class cleaned up and put away their dishes, James placed his mousse in the chiller for tomorrow.
"Class if you would take those aprons home with you, and decorate them however you like. These are yours and I want them to look at such." Mr. Washington called to his students, smiling.
James took off his apron and folded it, placing it in his bag. He then rushed to clean his station, excited for his next class.
He was surprised when Herc had told him they offered sign language as a language credit. James was a sickly child and had a list of health issues a mile long, hearing problems being one of them. As a kid he found it hard to communicate because of his hearing issues, so he started learning to sign, when Hercules joined the family he wanted to learn as well. Now Hercules can keep simple conversations.
James makes it to class before the minute bell rings. Smiling he picks a seat and sits down, pulling his book out of his bag starting where he'd left off.
Students start to trickle in, filling the seats. James notices someone sit next to him, but pays them no mind until they put their feet on his desk. He huffs and looks up, seeing the smiling face of his brother.
'Hey bro' Hercules signs.
James saves his place in his book and signs back 'Hello. Since when did you decide to take this class?'
'Well you've been teaching me for a while, and if I didn't keep learning we wouldn't be able to have conversations that no one else understands.' Hercules laughs as he signs.
'Dork.' James rolls his eyes.
'Nerd.' Herc smiles wider.
"Alright class I am Mrs. Martin." The teacher signs as she speaks. "Welcome to American Sign Language 101. If you would look at the board, you will see some simple words with their sign next to them."
After scanning the board the brothers realized they had already learned all the words.
Hercules felt this would be a good time to confront his brother about Thomas. 'So what is your relationship with' he pauses before finger spelling 'T-H-O-M-A-S?'
James feels his face heat before he replies 'There is no relationship between me and' he pauses, thinking of how he can describe Thomas instead of having to spell it every time. He settles on signing curly hair in its place. Hercules seems to understand what was meant.
'You sure? Because you and Thomas' he used the same sign as James had 'seemed pretty close earlier.'
James shrugged 'We were partnered for a project, we spoke a bit.'
Hercules huffed knowing his brother wouldn't tell him any more. 'So you got any plans for lunch today?'
'Great you'll sit with us.'
James smiles 'Alright. Whose us?'
Hercules, deciding he doesn't want to sign all the names, speaks. "Me, Laf, this new kid Laf wants to introduce Alex, and Thomas, I think that's it."
"Alright, lunch is after this class?" James glances at the clock, ten minutes left.
"Alright class we will be going over these words throughout the week. There will be a little quiz on Friday." The class groans.
"Don't worry if you pay attention it will be easy for you. Now, since we have about ten minutes left, and we've finished what we needed to, you may talk for the rest of the hour." The class is immediately filled with the chatter of students.
"So since I've met everyone else at the table, do we know anything about Alex?"
"Not really man. All we know is that he's staying with the Washingtons, foster kid, that's how Laf knows him. Cuz y'know with the foreign exchange thing..." Hercules seemed to start fidgeting as soon as he'd mentioned Lafayette. James raised a brow.
James decides this conversation might be best held in sign. 'So you ask me about mine and Thomas' relationship. What about you and L-A-F-A-Y-E-T-T-E'
Herc sits, focusing on something over James' shoulder for half a minute, before answering. 'There is no relationship.'
James stares at Herc, his look clearly showing he doesn't believe him.
'As much as I wish there was, there isn't. I wish' he pauses to think before signing the word beautiful in place of Lafayette's name, which James finds disgustingly cute. 'Lafayette liked me, but I just don't think they do.'
James sighs and rolls his eyes. 'Why not ask? You are loud about your opinions at any other time.'
'It's not that easy. Have you seen them? I can't just ask.'
James sighs again 'Try it sometime, you might be surprised.'
The bell sounds. Students scramble out of their chairs, rushing to leave the classroom. James looks at his bother, whose usual bright eyed smile, has been replaced with a mix between focus, and self doubt.
'Lunch?' James smiles.
'Lunch.' Herc gives a small smile before standing, grabbing his bag and heading out the door.
James hurries to catch up with his brother, who is now halfway down the hall, meeting with Lafayette, and a smaller boy with his long brown hair tied into a low ponytail.
"Hey Jay! This is Alexander!" Hercules' signature smile was back. His one arm around Lafayette's waist and the other around the boy, Alexander's, shoulders.
James walks up to the small group, extending his hand for Alexander. "Hello, I'm James it's nice to meet you."
Alexander smiles widely and shakes James' hand enthusiastically "Hello James. My name is Alexander Hamilton."
James smiles, liking his enthusiasm.
"C'mon guys! It's burger day and if we don't hurry we'll miss all the good ones!" Herc takes Lafayette by the hand and runs down the hall, James smiles at their intertwined fingers.
James and Alexander follow, slower, conversing back and forth. James takes in Alexander's appearance fully for the first time. Seeing he has large jeans that seem to hang too far off his hips, old scuffed bulky sneakers, and a very baggy shirt.
The shirt started falling off of Alexander's shoulder, with all the arm flailing he was doing, revealing a strap of something that looked like a sports bra.
James clears his throat, catching Alexander's attention, and gestures towards his shoulder.
Alexander looks down, blushes, and struggles to pull his shirt to cover it fast enough. He mumbles a quiet "thanks.."
James smiles and nods. "So what was it you were saying about individuality and our rights?"
Alexander stares at James confused, before breaking into a huge grin. And continuing on his rant, voice carrying and arms flailing, all the way to the lunchroom.
Chapter 7: Multiple: Lunch
Lafayette looked down at their fingers which were intwined with Herc's. They smile at the contrast between them. Theirs are lighter then Herc's by more then a few shades, long, slim, smooth with perfectly manicured nails. Herc's are big, dark, calloused from working out, bandaids riddled his fingers from being stabbed by pins while working on his favorite hobby, fashion. Lafayette wanted nothing more then to kiss each and every one of the small wounds the bandaids try to hide. Their face heats up 'Mon dieu, je suis trop profond.'
Hercules must have noticed a change in their behavior, because he turns to look at them confused. They give a small smile "Je suis désolé, I was lost in my thoughts."
Hercules' smile could light up a room, whenever it is directed at them, they feel their heart swell with affection. Lafayette decides, while looking at that beautiful smile, they would tell him today. After school, the football players and cheerleaders have practice at the same time, that is when they will tell him. They smile back.
Hercules loved the feeling of lafayette's hand in his. He smiled and told Laf about the project fashion is starting, clothing based off the elements, when he feels Laf's hand subtlety tighten. He turns, confused at to what's wrong.
"Je suis désolé, I was lost in my thoughts." Herc loves their accent, loves it when they speak French. He smiles, full of affection for the French student.
"Well what's goin' on up there?" He taps their forehead with a finger on his free hand. "Something I can help with?"
Lafayette smiles softly, they are so gorgeous when they smile. "Non, not yet. But soon hopefully."
Herc stops walking, causing Laf to bump into the back of him. He takes his hand out of Laf's, turns, and wraps his arms around them. "Whatever it is I'll do whatever I can." He lets go, leaving his hands on their shoulders. "You got it?"
"Oui." Lafayette answered breathlessly. 'From the tight hug' Herc's brain provided.
The two stand there, in the middle of the hallway, starring at each other until they hear Alexander and James coming up behind them.
Hercules turns away first. "Come on ya slowpokes!" He touches the back of Laf's hand with his own, hoping they would take it, he grins stupidly when they do.
"Come on ya slowpokes!"
Alexander stops talking to call back, laughing. "No one asked you to wait!" He watches Herc shrug, and start back down the hallway.
Alexander has had a hard life, having to work for every little thing. Being ridiculed for the way he is. Back home they wouldn't call him Alexander, not even Alex, they would call him by his birth name. Every time he heard it it was another shot to his heart. His father left a few days after the first time he asked to be called Alexander, around the age of seven.
His mother had moved them from the small island, to New York that same year. Only two years after that they had both fallen deathly ill. Alexander was able to pull through, but his mother died, holding him, with her last breath she'd said his name.
He'd spent years in and out of foster families. Never staying with any of them for long. None of his 'families' understood that there was an error on his papers. That his name was Alexander, he didn't wear skirts and dresses, he was a boy. None of his 'families' understood, until he moved in with the Washingtons.
He'd gone in ready, and willing, to fight tooth and nail to defend himself. When Mr. Washington had called him by his birth name, Alexander bitterly corrected him. The man took it in stride, apologizing, correcting himself, and continuing with the conversation.
The Washingtons introduced him to Lafayette, an exchange student staying with them. They had spoken with Alexander about Lafayette's pronouns before introducing them, helping Alexander understand why they were so accepting of his corrections.
Mr. Washington, who'd asked Alexander to call him George, had taken to calling him son. Mrs. Washington, Martha, had promised to take him shopping for clothes that would fit better over the weekend.
"Alexander," there's a hand on his shoulder "we're here."
He was pulled from his thoughts by the boy next to him halting his steps. He blinks, realizing he's standing in front of the lunchroom doors.
"Sorry, sometimes my mind gets the best of me." He smiles sheepishly.
James just smiles and nods, opening the door for both of them to walk inside. Alexander sees Herc and Laf walking towards a table with five people. Alexander can't see well from this far, but he can see four heads of curly hair and one with straight black hair.
"Who's at the table? Laf said only like three other people would be there."
"Well the tall one with the Afro is Thomas, they're gender fluid. The one with straight black hair is Eliza, I didn't know she was gonna be here. But I don't know the other three."
"Well only one way to find out!" Alexander grabs James' wrist, and leads him to the table.
"Ay Jay and Al finally decided to join!" Alexander laughed as he comes up to the table, James in tow.
The one with really big hair, Thomas? Turned quickly, smile turning into a scowl when they see Alex holding James' wrist.
"So who's who?" Alexander asks smiling.
"Well you already know me, Laf, and James. That's Thomas who's gender fluid, that's Thomas' friend Peggy who's nonbinary, Peggy's sisters Eliza and Angelica, and the one that Angelica is putting makeup on is her friend John who's gender fluid but only he/they pronouns." Hercules takes a deep breath after introducing everyone.
"Well I'm Alexander Hamilton, and there's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait." He finally lets go of James' wrist to place his hands on his waist.
"One of those things shutting up?" He hears Thomas mumble.
"Excuse me?" Alexander bristles.
"Oh nothing. Jemmy come sit with me." They slide down the seat to give James room to sit between them and Herc.
"Oh yeah everyone! This is my little brother James." Herc throws an arm around James.
There's a chorus of hellos from the rest of the table.
"Angie aren't you done yet? I'm sure Alexander would like to sit." Came the voice of Peggy.
"Almost...and..done!" She puts the makeup in the bag, and for the first time Alexander sees John. They are gorgeous, freckles dusting their face like constellations Alexander would love to map. They have on brown eyeliner, and a light pink lipstick, with dark curls framing their face.
"Sorry, here I'll just.." They push over to make room for Alexander.
"Thanks, Alexander Hamilton." He puts his hand out.
John shakes it. "John Laurens." They smile, causing Alexander's heart to stutter.
Chapter 8: John: Lunch
'Alright so next I have weights, this'll come off when we shower' John's thoughts centered around only one thing while Angelica put makeup on them, their father.
'He would never be okay with this, this is exciting. It's nerve racking. I love it.' John hears people approach the table, but doesn't dare turn for fear of Angelica's wrath.
"Ay Jay and Al finally decided to join!" 'That's, oh what was his name? It was different, something from Disney. Oh! Hercules!'
"So who's who?" A new voice asks. 'That's either Jay or Al.'
"Well you already know me, Laf, and James. That's Thomas who's gender fluid, that's Thomas' friend Peggy who's nonbinary, Peggy's sisters Eliza and Angelica, and the one that Angelica is putting makeup on is her friend John who's gender fluid but only he/they pronouns." Hercules takes a deep breath after introducing everyone.
"Well I'm Alexander Hamilton, and there's a million things I haven't done, but just you wait." 'So his name is Alexander?'
Thomas mumbles something John couldn't hear.
"Excuse me?" Alexander bristles.
"Oh nothing. Jemmy come sit with me."
John heard shuffling, most likely Thomas shifting to make room.
"Oh yeah everyone! This is my little brother James." Even though John couldn't see him, they said hello with the rest of the table.
"Angie aren't you done yet? I'm sure Alexander would like to sit." Came the voice of Peggy.
"Almost...and..done!" She puts the makeup in the bag, and allowed John to finally see the people that have just been introduced.
The first one John sees is a boy with his hair in a loose ponytail, sun kissed skin, and the most beautiful brown eyes they've ever seen. They smile, they can't help it, seeing him makes their heart swell. How long have they been staring? Shit.
They blush. "Sorry, here I'll just.." They push over to make room for Alexander, taking their camera off the table and placing it in their lap.
"Thanks, Alexander Hamilton." He puts his hand out.
John shakes it. "John Laurens." His hands are rough with callouses, and look to be stained with ink, John thinks his hands are perfect. Alexander smiles and John feels their heart jolt, they let each others hand go. Why is he so gorgeous? 'God, what would Father think?' For the first time in their life, John didn't care, they just wanted to keep seeing that smile, keep feeling those hands.
"What's that?" John is snapped out of their thoughts by Alexander's question.
"What?" They follow his eyes to the camera in their lap. "Oh I'm in photography..." They duck their head, blushing.
"They're pretty good!" They feel Angelica's arm go around their shoulders.
"I'm, just, whatever..." They hide behind their curls.
"I'm sure they're amazing! Could I, uh, could I have a look?" John looks up to see Alexander biting his lip.
"Uh sure, yeah." They turn on their camera and press a few buttons until the pictures come up. "Here, they're uh alright I guess nothing special.." They hear Alexander gasp.
"John these are amazing!" John sees the picture that he's looking at, it was taken a few weeks before they moved to New York from South Carolina.
Their younger brother is sitting on top of the monkey bars, muted light shining behind his head of blond hair. He's smiling wide enough to make the corners of his closed eyes crinkle, showing off the gap of a lost tooth. His cheeks were red from weeks of sun, face covered in freckles like his mother and John.
The colors are muted, due to the sun being blotted out by clouds. The greens in the trees look softer, the red of the monkey bars darker. John was proud of this picture.
"Who is that? Your brother? You guys look alike, except for the hair of course. His is really straight and blond. But yours is like the complete opposite." Alexander looks up, shy smile on his face. "Sorry I, uh, I tend to ramble. It's just I've never really had any friends before, I promise I'll make you all proud." He spoke to the entire table at the end.
John's heart broke a little hearing that. How could no one be this boys friend? He's so sweet and kind and beautiful.
"No need to apologize man." They smile reassuringly. "But yeah that's my little brother Marcus, he mostly takes after my mom, kinda like I did, except for his hair that's just like Father's."
"What ya guys lookin at?!" Came Hercules' loud voice.
"John here is a photographer! They're really good too!" For some reason John's heart swelled hearing their preferred pronouns coming out of Alexander's mouth.
"Really! Let's see em! Of course if it's okay with Johnny?" Herc looks at them, fave soft with what looks to be the type of fondness a parent would have for a child. John furrows their brows confused.
"Um yeah sure I guess.." They rub the back of their neck in embarrassment.
"Sweet!" Hercules reaches across the table for the camera, showing the pictures to the others.
John can't seem to lift their head to see what everyone thinks, too afraid. He feels Alexander lean closer.
"They really are amazing John, truly." He whispers. John shudders at the feeling of his warm breath ghosting their ear.
"Thank you." They whisper back.
For a few minutes the only sounds John at the table are the sounds of approval from their friends. Finally Hercules hands the camera back with a wide smile.
"You planin on doin this as a career? Cos you could, you really could! Those are amazing!"
His brother speaks up, for the first time that John has heard.
"Truly. You have an eye for it John, it looks to me that you can take an ordinary sight and turn it into an extraordinary picture. You have a great talent." He smiles softly. The one next to him, Thomas, has their bottom lip out in a pout. Glaring at John, then wrapping their arm around James, causing his attention to switch.
"Oui, these are really, ah how you say, gorgeous." Lafayette leans across Herc to look John in the eye, leaning their weight on him.
"Thanks guys, but it's more of a hobby. I've gotta think realistically, something that'll pay, like becoming a doctor or something." They think about what their father had said about their hobby. 'I don't like it Jack, but your mother has convinced me you are more likely to be accepted into more colleges if you are well rounded so I'll leave it be. But don't you dare think that this opens any doors for you to step out of line! I will not have my son turning into a faggot.' They swallow hard at the memory.
"Well whatever you want man I guess." Herc is now looking at them, smile still in place, but eyes full of concern.
"Would you ever think about taking up a job maybe, during high school, because I'm sure you'd make a lot with your talents." Alexander speaks up, smiling again.
"I've never thought about it, I may be too busy with school though." John lies. "I'll check it out though thanks." They smile, what they hope is, a convincing smile. Hercules squints his eyes at John. 'Shit he can tell. Damn it.' At the same moment Hercules opens his mouth to speak, the bell rings.
John thanks a god they've been taught to worship, but no longer believes, for the timing of the bell. They hurriedly pack everything away and say their goodbyes to the table.
"See ya guys I'm off to weights."
There's a chorus of 'bye John' s, and one "Oh me too, let walk together." Said by the last person they wanted to hear it from at the moment. Hercules Mulligan.
Chapter 9: John: Weights
During the walk to the weight room, John tried to keep their head down hoping it would deter Hercules from pressing. It didn't work, they felt an arm wrap around their shoulders causing their steps to slow.
"Hey is everythin' alright? You seemed a bit jumpy when we were talkin' about your pictures."
John clenches their jaw ’Stop asking questions.’ "I'm fine."
They hear Hercules sigh before he takes John by the shoulders so they're looking in each other’s eyes. "Look I get it if you don't want to tell me what's going on, but don't lie and say you're fine, I can tell something's wrong. Hey stop that." John hadn't even realized they had started grinding their teeth. ‘Just fuckin stop asking me shit.’
John sighs, looking Hercules in the eye. "Fine you're right, but I don't wanna talk about it man so just drop it." They really hope he does, they can feel how close they are to snapping. ‘I don’t want to lose the friends I just got by snapping. Calm down John.’
Hercules searches their face with a serious expression for a few seconds before speaking. "Alright man I'll drop it," he lifts his hands as if he were surrendering, “but know if you need to talk I'm all ears." He slaps John on the back, smiling "Race ya to the weights room?"
John could feel the tension in their body starting lighten. "You're on." They give a small smile in return.
The two rush to the room, Hercules getting there first by only a few seconds, but they are still both late. "Don't worry about it coach doesn’t really care if you're late or not as long as you work. C'mon let's change out." John follows into the locker room.
"Alright man lets see which lockers we got." He walks up to a paper posted on the wall. "Sweet we’re in the same section!" He pulls John along to a section of lockers. "You got 24 and I'm 32." He smiles and starts to undress, placing his discarded clothes into the open locker.
Smiling, John did the same. They pull their shirt up and over their head, dropping it on the floor.
“Man! I mean I figured you had a lot of freckles, but they are like everywhere!” Hercules laughs behind them.
They huff out a laugh before speaking. “Yeah that’s what happens when your mother has freckles and your skin is prone to giving you more instead of tanning.” They continue undressing, before grabbing their gym clothes and putting them on, and placing their discarded clothes in their locker.
“Alright man you ready?” Hercules slaps their back.
“Yeah lets go.” They pull the hair tie off their wrist, walking towards the door, and tie their hair up in a bun. Hercules runs up behind them and swings his arm over their shoulders laughing.
By the time they actually make it to the weight room, there’s only about twenty minutes left of class.
“It’s nice of you two to finally join us! Get to work!”
“Sorry coach!” Hercules calls out before leaning towards John. “Ready?”
“Sure man, spot me?”
“Yeah lets go!” Hercules excitedly guides John to the barbell rack.
With their mind focused on working out and joking with Hercules, they almost forgot the conversation that had happened not too long ago. Almost, there was still that nagging part in the back of his mind. ‘They can’t find out. None of them can.’ Then a voice that sounds eerily like his father ‘You know what happens if you cant keep it a secret Jacky.’ He can’t let any of them find out.
Chapter 10: Thomas: Laf please
The bell rings while John is showering. They rush through the rest of it, before quickly drying off and changing. John and Hercules rush out of the locker room, parting to go to their classes. John rushes into science, seconds before the bell rings.
They sit down in an empty seat, panting.
"Nice of you to join us Johnny."
They turn to see Peggy smirking. They let out a laugh "Yeah." He pants "I didn't know you were in this class."
Peggy smiles "Well we didn't get a chance to exchange schedules, since Angie decided to steal you at lunch. Give it here, see if we missed anything."
They hand over their schedule, letting Peggy look over it. They pout, handing it back.
"Nothing. That's so boring..."
The teacher stands in front of the class and speaks "Hello class I'm Mrs. Hager and this is Biology. Today we'll be learning about...."
The two pass notes, ignoring the teacher for the rest of the period.
Hercules barely makes it to his next class. He scans the room for a free seat, finding one next to Alex. He smiles, sitting next to him. "Hey man! Didn't know we had this class together." He laughs.
Alex looks shocked, before realizing who it was. He laughs "Neither did I." He opens his mouth to say something else when the teacher speaks.
"Hello class, I'm Mr. Adams, I am going to take roll before we begin..." He starts calling out the names.
Hercules starts fiddling with his pencil, trying to entertain himself until it was over.
Hercules looks over to Alex when he hears him take a sharp breath.
His voice comes out cold "It's Alexander, or Alex."
Mr. Adams does not look amused with this new information "It is clearly written right here," he points to the roster "that it is Amelia."
Alex clenches his fists "And I've clearly stated that I do not wish to be called that."
Mr. Adams does not look deterred "If you have a problem with it, talk to the office about changing it. Until then, I will call you what is written here Amelia." He goes on to finish calling roll.
Alex slumps back in his chair.
Hercules tosses a piece of paper, waiting for him to read it.
'You alright man? -H'
Alex sighs, scribbling something down before handing it back.
'I don't know why I'm surprised it happened. It always happens, wherever I go. No matter what, people never see me as Alex. I was hoping that since I didn't know anyone here it would be different. I guess I was wrong.-A'
Hercules looks over at him, seeing him taking notes. Alex doesn't even try to make eye contact. Herc sighs and writes.
'Look man the name thing is an easy fix. Get it changed in the office. As for people never seeing you as Alexander, what about everyone Laf introduced you to at lunch today? You're Alex to us.-H'
Alex starts writing almost as soon as he gets the note.
'Changing my name in the system isn't as easy as you think. And either way, it wouldn't change the way people see me know that they know. The only reason I was ever Alexander to you guys was because you didn't know.-A'
'Ok fine it's probably not that easy. But that's not why we all saw you as Alex. You could have come out to everyone at the table and you still would have been Alex to us.-H'
Alex sneaks a quick, disbelieving, glance before writing his answer and handing it back.
'Thanks. That really means a lot.-A'
The bell rings, Alex quickly grabs all of his things before leaving the room. Hercules follows him out, seeing him run into John. The two smile at each other before John puts an arm around him and they walk towards the exit.
He smiles at heir interaction before heading off to change for practice.
Thomas and Lafayette walk together to their sixth hour, Pom. Lafayette looks over with a knowing smirk.
"So, you and James?"
Thomas feels their cheeks heat up, while they sputter. "I don't know what you're talking about. Me and that kid? Please, never in a million years."
Lafayette raises a brow "Is that so? And if he told me during culinary that he liked you, you would say?"
Thomas' eyes widen "He did!?"
Lafayette laughs at their friend "Non, sorry mon ami. Just wanted to see what you'd say....I can't believe you like Hercules' petit frère."
Thomas huffs "And what about you and Hercules huh?" They smirk "When's that gonna happen?"
They see Laf duck their head. "After practice I hope..."
Thomas' smirk turns into a grin "Oh Laf! I'm so happy for you! You're finally gonna go for it."
The two reach their class, quickly changing into their uniforms. Thomas pulls up the skirt, ending about mid thigh. They quickly grab the crop top, pulling it on, when they hear the minute bell.
The two rush out onto the field just in time. They don't spend much of the class talking, not given much of a chance with all the new techniques they're learning.
The bell rings, coach tells those who are not on the cheer squad to change out and head home. Thomas and Lafayette sit on the bleachers, drinking their water.
Thomas smiles "So are you going to ask before or after practice?"
Lafayette bites their lip "I don't know..."
Thomas sees Hercules walking up from behind Laf.
"Hey Laf!" Hercules is smiling wide and waving.
Lafayette giggles and waves back "Hello Hercules....could I uh talk to you for a minute alone?"
Thomas smiles wide, proud of their friend.
Herc tilts his head quizzically "Sure."
The two walk to a more secluded location, leaving Thomas to their own devices.
Chapter 11: Herc&Laf: Finally
Lafayette takes Hercules' hand and guides him behind the opposite set of bleachers, fidgeting the entire time.
"Hey you alright?" Hercules furrows his brows, concerned.
Lafayette sighs "Oui, oui...just a bit nervous I suppose." They bite their lip, starring at their still interlocked hands "I have something important to say to you."
Hercules squeezes their hand "What is it?" he asks them worriedly.
They take a deep breath "We've known each other for about a year and we're really close et je ne peux plus le garder pour moi . Je vous aime bien. Romantique. Vous détestez probablement moi maintenant parce que vous ne vous sentez pas la même chose , je suis désolé , je ne pouvais pas continuer à vivre comme ça ..." They stare at Hercules, hoping he wouldn't hate them for it.
Hercules speaks soft and slow, as if trying to sooth a child "Laf, hon, you switched to French before you could make your point. Do you wanna try again?"
Lafayette blushes, cursing themselves for doing that. They take a steadying breath "I..I like you Hercules. Romantically. I know you don't feel the same and you probably hate me bu-" They're cut off by a pair of lips against theirs.
Hercules is smiling wide, eyes sparkling "I've liked you for so long Laf. I didn't know if you liked me back so I never said anything!" He kisses them again "I can't believe it." He laughs and hugs them, lifting them off the ground a few inches.
Lafayette giggles, still shocked from the kisses. They go to speak when the whistle sounds and coach calls the football players to practice.
Still smiling, Hercules wraps an arm around their waist and they walk together back to the field. Lafayette leans into his side.
When they reach the bleachers with the cheerleaders, Hercules leans down and kisses them "See ya after practice babe." He rushes to where coach is having them all huddle.
Thomas smirks as they watch Lafayette get ready to confess.
"Oh, hey! Do you mind if I sit here?"
Thomas turns with a smile, hearing James' voice "But of course Jimmy!" They pat the seat next to them, "What brings you here?"
James smiles, causing Thomas' heart to beat faster 'damn this kids smile is adorable.' "Thanks Thomas." He chuckles "Herc is my ride home, so I'm gonna be out here every practice."
Thomas smiles "Well we have practice the same days as football does, so it looks like we'll be seeing even more of each other." They wink.
James smiles shyly, taking his glasses off to clean them on his shirt. Thomas can't help but stare. "I look forward to it." He puts his glasses back on, now looking at Thomas.
Thomas feels their face heat 'Holy shit what's this kid doing to me?' "Me too."
James smiles at them again, then reaches into his backpack and pulls out 'The Green Mile' by Steven King.
Thomas looks confused "Weren't you reading something else this morning?"
James looks up, embarrassed "I finished it...it wasn't that long and I read it before."
Thomas smiles and shrugs "Hey chill man, why so embarrassed?"
James bites his lip "I don't know, I guess people think it's weird that I read so many books in a day."
Thomas ruffles his hair "Well not to worry kid, it's cool."
James smiles up at them "Thanks Thomas."
Thomas nods, ignoring the way his heart speeds up. "No problem man."
The cheer coach calls the team to practice.
Thomas pats James' head "Gotta go, see ya later kid."
James smiles "Bye Thomas. Break a leg!"
Thomas walks down the steps and onto the field, finding Lafayette. "So, how'd it go?" They smirk.
Lafayette smiles wide "Magnifique! He kissed me, and told me he felt the same."
Thomas smiles and pats their shoulder "I told you it'd be alright."
Lafayette chuckles "Yes yes. That you did...now what about you and James over there?" They waggle their brows.
Thomas huffs "Nothing's happening between me and the kid. He asked to sit next to me and I said sure." They look over to where James is reading his book.
Lafayette hums "Mhmm and there's nothing going on between Hercules and I." They say unimpressed.
Thomas sighs "Leave it alone Laf, nothing's happening."
Before Lafayette can answer, coach calls for them to start, Thomas looks to Lafayette one last time, before going to start "Seriously, drop it."
Chapter 12: Suggestions or ideas?
Hey guys, I've finished fixing the older chapters, but I'm stuck on how to continue it. I really wanna keep this story going but I have no ideas on how to do it, I'd love to hear ideas or suggestions from you guys if you've got any. Thanks for being so patient with me.
Chapter 13: Multiple: After School
Sorry about the long wait guys I've been having trouble thinking of how to continue this, but now I think I have an idea now. I hope you enjoy
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
John rushes out of biology, waving to Peggy, and towards the front doors, running into someone in their haste. "Oh gosh I'm so sorry! Oh Alex! Hey!" They feel their cheeks heat as the boy looks up at them smiling, though something seemed wrong.
"You're fine, I wasn't watching where I was going." He shrugs.
John furrows their brow, "Is..everything alright? You seem kinda strung up?"
Alex laughs bitterly, "That's one way of putting it. It's not really something I want to discuss until I'm ready." John nods, they understand that feeling. "So what happened to your makeup? It looked nice on you."
John smiles, though humorlessly, "It's not really something I want to discuss until I'm ready." They use his words against him, shooting him a sideways glance. They hear him chuckle slightly and count that as a win.
"Understandable." He stops walking in front of a classroom, "Well here's my stop, gotta wait here with my foster father til it's time to head home. I'll see you tomorrow?"
John nods, smiling, "See ya man." They pat him on the shoulder before continuing their original journey to the front doors. As soon as they step out they see their father's car, the man himself behind the steering wheel looking impatient. John takes a steadying breath before rushing to the car and climbing in, "I'm sorry I'm late father I-"
"I don't care why you're late Jack, just make sure it doesn't happen again, is that understood?"
John nods, sinking into their seat, wishing it would swallow them whole, "Understood sir."
Alexander sighs as he watches John walk down the hall, he waits until they are out the door before going into the classroom.
"Ah hello son, have a seat I shouldn't be too long." George smiles over at him from his desk where he's grading papers. "How was your first day?"
Alex shrugs, putting his bag on top of a desk before sitting, "It was fine."
George raises a brow, "Just fine? Did you happen to meet any friends?"
Alex nods, "I guess, Laf introduced me to some of their friends." As if waiting for their name to be spoken, they walk in just as they were mentioned.
They practically glide through the room, smiling widely, "Bonjour ma famille, how was today?"
George chuckles, "Today was fine, how about you?"
Their smile grows, "Wonderful, I saw all of my old friends made some new friends and I got to spend the time with mon petit frère. Speaking of, how was your day?"
Alex rolls his eyes, smiling, "Fine Laf."
Lafayette nods, seemingly not paying much attention, "Papa, can I go out with a friend today? He will take me home tonight and I have no homework." They bounce on the balls of their feet, pleading.
George sighs, a soft smile on his face, "Alright, but I want you home by 8 at the latest. And I want you to keep me posted on where you are."
Lafayette nods excitedly, wrapping their arms around his neck and kissing his cheek, "Thank you papa! I will!" They run out of the room.
George chuckles, "Such a social butterfly." Alex nods humming. "Are you sure nothing happened today? Because I got a call from Mr. Adams and-"
Alex glares down at the work he was doing, "It wasn't my fault! He wouldn't listen to me about my name, no matter what I said to him! He just told me that he'd use whatever name is on the roster until I get it changed in the office and, and-" he feels his eyes burn and his breaths coming out faster. 'I hate being an angry cryer. Shit.' He starts rubbing at his eyes. He jumps when he feels George's hand on his back, rubbing soothingly.
"I'm aware of what he said to you son. But I put him in his place, he shouldn't misgender you anymore. I also was able to grab all the paperwork to change your name today so we can start on that. We can even switch you out of his class if you so wish."
Alex shakes his head, 'I won't let him have the satisfaction of forcing me out of his class.' "I have a friend in that class, I'd like to stay."
George nods, "I think I'm finished for the night, perhaps we can stop for dinner on the way home? Your choice."
Alex smiles up at the man, "Yeah, okay. That sounds good."
James can barely focus on his book, eyes constantly flicking over to Thomas. He feels his face flush, 'why do you keep looking at them? You're being creepy...but they just look so beautiful..' He's pulled out of his thoughts when the object of his affections saunters over to him, grabbing their water bottle.
"Hey Jemmy, you enjoying the show?" They wink, causing his face to flush as he splutters. Thomas chuckles, "Hey take it easy kid, I'm just messing with ya. You're really easy to get all flustered, you know that?"
James just looks away and shrugs, "No ones ever really tried..."
Tutting, they wrap an arm around him, "That's just a tragedy, so many people missing out...then again I'm a fairly selfish person so I like the idea that only I can see this side of you." His mouth falls open, unable to think of a response, he just lets out an embarrassing squeak like sound causing Thomas to laugh. They pinch his cheek as their coach blows the whistle calling them back, "You're too cute kid, well I've gotta go. See you this weekend though right? For the project?"
James nods, finally finding his voice, "Of course, just let me know when!" He smiles at their thumbs up. He tries, and utterly fails, to continue his book. He sets it down next to him and lets his eyes wander the field, forcing himself not to look at Thomas for too long. He's jolted out of his thoughts by Hercules running up to him.
"Bro! Look I know this is kind of a shitty thing to do but Laf just texted me saying their dad is letting them go out tonight and I was hoping to take them on a date and-"
James cuts him off by raising a hand, "Hercules you're rambling. What are you trying to say?"
Hercules breaths deeply, "I can't drive you home today..I'm sorry but this is something I've been waiting for for so long-"
He cuts his brother off once more, "Herc I don't care that you can't drive me, you made other arrangements right?" At his bothers shy smile he sighs, "You didn't..okay-"
"I can drive you." Thomas smiles, wiping away their sweat, "Sorry came over to grab my stuff and heard you guys. But it's totally no problem."
James smiles, ducking his head slightly "Really? That would be wonderful! Thank you."
Hercules glares at them, "Alright, but give us a moment okay Jay?"
James nods and grabs his things before climbing down the bleachers.
Hercules smiles after his brother, until he turns a corner and is no longer in sight. "Dude, what did we talk about earlier?"
They raise a brow and sigh "Hercules I'm not trying to get with your kid brother. If you'd rather I keep away and leave him to sit at school or walk home that's fine. I just thought I'd be nice to my new friend and offer him a ride."
Hercules stares for a few seconds before relenting, "Fine. But if I hear you tried anything-"
"Which you won't."
"-then I will make you regret it. Okay?"
Thomas puts their hands up in surrender, "Okay okay, now you might wanna get going. I see Laf coming back."
Hercules turns quickly, looking for them. "Fine," he starts walking down the bleachers towards Lafayette, "just remember what I said."
Thomas nods and waves, "Yeah yeah, have fun." They make their way down to James, "Hey kid you ready?"
James nods, "Yup, lead the way." He follows as they start walking to their car, a purple jeep. James holds back any comments he might have about the car, deciding to just climb in quietly.
Thomas tosses their phone into his lap, "Put your address in yeah?" James does as he's told, while they pull out of the parking lot.
James finishes typing his address in, putting the phone in the clip. "What did Hercules want if you don't mind me asking?"
Thomas shrugs smiling, "Asking me for advice with his date with Laf."
James smiles and chuckles, "I'm glad it finally happened between those two. I've heard about Laf a bunch from him but he could never ask. And seeing them around each other today? How could they not know they liked each other."
Thomas laughs, "I know right? They were both so oblivious to the other, it's scary." They look at James from the corner of their eye, watching him smile and laugh. They don't notice the light turning red.
"Thomas!" James grips the handle and the console, terrified. They slam on the breaks, stopping just past the cross walk.
The two sit in silence, only being broken by their terrified breathing. "I am so sorry! Oh my god!"
James takes a deep breath before relaxing, he grabs onto their arm, squeezing, "Hey it's fine, just a bit of a scare." He gives them a shaky smile.
They nod, taking their foot off the break as the light turns green, driving marginally slower then before. They park the car when they reach his house, still shaking slightly.
James smiles reassuringly, "Hey, you wanna come in? Calm down a bit, have a snack, something to drink?"
Thomas nods, licking their lips nervously, "Yeah..that sounds good. Thank you."
James nods, grabbing his bag, "We can even start working on the project." He jokes.
Thomas smiles, "That sounds nice, I'd like to actually get to know you a bit more."
James flushes and nods, turning to unlock the door, "Mama? You home?" When he's met with silence he hums, "Guess not." He behind Thomas in, "Guess she got called in, have a seat, make yourself comfortable. I'll grab us some snacks and drinks."
Thomas nods, sitting in the dining room. They look around at what they can see of the house, its small and quaint, comfortable. They jump slightly when James places a plate onto the table.
"Made these last night, heated them up in the oven for a bit. They're chocolate peanut butter brownies." He smiles widely, "Our drinks will be done soon, don't worry."
Thomas nods, taking a brownie, "Thank you." Their eyes widen as they take a bite, "You made these? These are amazing!"
James shyly rubs the back of his neck and nod, "Yeah, cooking is kind of a hobby of mine." A timer goes off in the kitchen, "Oh! Our drinks!" He rushes back into the kitchen.
Thomas finishes off two more of the brownies before he comes back, two steaming mugs in hand. "Home made hot chocolate," he smiles softly at them, "it usually helps me calm down."
Thomas takes a sip, groaning , "Dude, you are perfect. Cute, smart, and you can cook? Unf." They wink.
James laughs, ducking his head, "I'd say I'm far from perfect, but thank you." He pulls off his glasses, to keep the hot chocolate from fogging them up.
Thomas chuckles, "I think you need new glasses if you can't see how perfect you are."
James shrugs, biting his lip, "I-I mean it's not like I'm anything special or anything..you on the other hand are so perfect it's scary..."
Thomas feels their face heat as they stare at him, "Well...aren't you smooth?" They chuckle, "But you're wrong, you're pretty great kid."
James clears his throat, "Should we start on the project..?"
Thomas nods, pulling out their supplies, "Sure thing hon, lets get to know each other."
The two smile at each other, sharing the plate of brownies, and get started on the project.
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Chapter 14: Multiple: Date(?) Night
If someone draws that Snapchat bit I will love you forever, give my first born, die for you, and give up all of my organs
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Hercules taps anxiously at the steering wheel while he drives.
"What has you so, how you say, stressed out cher? Relax we are going on a date." They smile giddily.
Hercules sighs "I'm sorry I'm just worried about James.."
"Amour, Thomas would never hurt your petit frère. They are a good person."
Hercules sighs again, "I mean I know I don't have anything to worry about but I still worry..James is just a kid-"
"Only a year younger then Thomas-"
"-and he's never shown interest in anyone before. I'm just afraid he's gonna get hurt.." he feels Lafayette place their hand on his arm.
"Cher, he may be your little brother, but he must grow sometime yes? Perhaps he is interested, perhaps he is not. You must let him figure it out on his own, let him make his own mistakes."
Hercules nods, "You're right..thanks Laf. I'm sorry I'm a bit of a mess on our first date." He chuckles.
They lean over the console and kiss his cheek, "Do not apologize dear." The rest of the ride was relatively silent, except for Lafayette singing along to every song on the radio much to Hercules's amusement.
Hercules bites his lip, becoming nervous again, though for a different reason. 'What if they don't like it? What if it's not enough? You should have done more damn it.' He parks in front of a Fifties style diner, glancing nervously at his date to gauge their reaction.
Lafayette smiles up at the restaurant, "Oh it's so cute, come on." They climb out of the car. Hercules rushes out after them, opening the door for them. They kiss his cheek and walk inside, "Such a gentleman."
Hercules leads them to the high top stools at the counter, pulling their stool out for them.
"Hey there, what can I get you two to drink?"
Without thinking, Hercules orders, "Two waters and a brownie fudge milkshake please. Two straws." The waitress nods and walks away. Hercules notices the confuse look on his dates face, Realization dawns on him, "Oh my god I'm sorry, I should've asked if that was okay with you. I mean I know you like chocolate milkshakes but I mean about the waters and wether you wanted something else to drink. Don't worry when she comes back we can get you whatever you want-"
Lafayette places their finger over his mouth to silence him, "I am only confused as to why you only got one shake amour, relax." They smile.
Hercules nods, "Right um I was thinking we could do like in the movies and share it? With two straws?" He watches at their face lights up.
"Oh that is adorable! You are so sweet." They kiss him, "We can take pictures too! To always remember our first date by."
Hercules nods, ducking behind his menu to hide his dopey smile, "That sounds great babe."
The waitress comes back, placing their drinks down, "Now what can I get you two to eat?" They order their food and the waitress walks away.
Lafayette pulls out their phone and opens Snapchat, "Come, mon amour, drink with me!" They select the flower crown filter and sip the shake from the straw. Hercules chuckles, moving into frame and drinking as well. "Oh how cute!" They type out a caption "Milkshake date with mon amour" before posting it. "Hercules, you are sweet you know this? Thank you for taking me out."
Hercules blinks in surprise, "No. No need to thank me, in my pleasure to take you out. Thank you for going out with me." They giggle and kiss him deeply.
* • • •
James and Thomas continue their 'interviews' of each other for about an hour before Thomas groans, "Ugh I'm bored." He throws his head back and arms in the air, "Can't we do something fun?"
James frowns, "I thought this was fun..getting to know each other."
"Yes that part is fun Jemmy, but the school part isn't. Come on let's do something."
He furrows his brows, "Like what?"
Thomas hums, "Y'all got Netflix?" At James's nod they smile, "Lets watch some."
James sighs and nods, "Alright, come on." He leads them to the living room and gets everything started, "Here you go, I'll be right back." He hands them the remote and heads to the kitchen.
Thomas hums and flicks through James's watch history, which is mostly rom coms. They chuckle, 'That's adorable, the kid likes romances'
"Do you want pizza or Chinese?"
They look up and see James holding two menus, "Hmm I'm in a pizza mood I think." They smile up at him, "Hawaiian?"
James scrunches his nose, "For you maybe, I'm allergic to pineapple. I usually get margarita with sausage."
Thomas smirks "Sausage eh?" They wink. James feels his face get hot and ducks his head. "I'm kidding, but I'll have what you're having. Don't wanna kill you, I actually enjoy your company."
James huffs, "Gee thanks..I'll make the order now." He pulls it up on his phone, ordering.
Thomas smirks, "So there's a lot of romance movies on here..." they watch James duck his head in embarrassment, "Aw don't worry kid I think it's cute. What should we watch? Personally I'm feeling The Notebook."
James nods, "That's fine, I haven't been able to watch all of it. I always get interrupted so maybe I'll actually be able to finish it." He smiles.
Thomas returns the smile, wrapping an arm around his shoulder, "Well then let's get this party started."
The two sit and watch the movie, only stopping to grab the pizza. James settles against Thomas's side, pizza box in his lap, focusing on the movie. "You know, I love romance movies..I just." He sighs, "This is stupid and I don't know why I'm telling you..but whenever I watch them I always imagine what it's like to have someone. Someone you care about so much and who cares about you the same way...it just seems so..amazing you know?" He looks up at them, biting his lip slightly embarrassed.
Thomas smiles softly down at him, "Yeah, I know what you mean." They squeeze his arm reassuringly. He beams up at them, thankful they didn't tease him about it. 'Damn it. I might have feelings for the kid. Fuck.'
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